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Winthrop Farmers' Market

There's a new farmers' market in Winthrop, every Thursday from 3-6pm, starting May 31st. It's been a few years since there was a farmers' market in town. Read more in this newspaper article

Denny's River Market 

After a couple seasons with no local farmers' market, there's a new market opening in the Washington County town of Dennysville, Wednesdays from 3-6pm, starting June 20th. (The market has a new Facebook page, here.)
 

Augusta Fundraising

The Augusta Farmers' Market at Mill Park was one of several that conducted a successful fundraising campaign last winter to support its Maine Harvest Bucks program. Recently WABI visited the market, and interviewed vendors and sponsors. Check out the story here
 

Seeking shopping totes

There are a number of markets offering "take a bag, leave a bag" tote bag recycling this year. Have any extra tote bags? If you can get them to us, we'll redistribute them to grateful shoppers! Also, let us know if your market is collecting bags for redistribution, so we can steer some your way. (Contact info@mffm.org)

Northeast Harbor

The Northeast Harbor Farmers' Market will be adding food trucks this season, thanks to improvements to the Veterans Memorial Park site. The town is adding a parking area and electricity to accommodate the trucks. Read more here. 

 

Presque Isle FM Moves

After years at the Aroostook Centre Mall, the Presque Isle Farmers' Market is moving downtown to Riverside Park. (The mall has experienced store closures and bankruptcy, and was therefore no longer a tenable location.) The market is working closely with the city and the Central Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District to develop and promote the new location. (Story here.)

Vendors Wanted

Remember that MFFM has a Vendors Wanted Facebook page. Feel free to post if your market is seeking a vendor/s, or if you are a producer seeking an additional market.

Maine Farmers' Market Trail

We're excited to be releasing a new edition of the Maine Farmers' Market Trail in early June! 5000 copies of "Maine Farmers' Markets: Midcoast to Downeast" will be shipping out to tourist information sites, hotels/inns, points of interest, and farmers' markets across the state. Visitors account for about 10% of shoppers at all Maine markets, and even more in many areas. In 2017, tourists spent $6 billion in Maine, so they are a demographic worth pursuing for local food promotion.

Food Sovereignty and Farmers' Markets

In March the Maine Attorney General confirmed that the Maine Food Sovereignty Act (MFSA) does not apply at farmers' markets. Although the markets all seem to be aware of this, many consumers are not. Some have been contacting the MFFM office with questions, and may inquire at farmers' markets as well. For more information, see our web page on food sovereignty, which includes links to the law and amendment, MFFM's position on food sovereignty, and frequently asked questions related to MFSA and Maine farmers' markets. 

We're Hiring in Presque Isle

We're working with the Presque Isle Farmers' Market and other partners (including the Central Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District and the City of Presque Isle) in the area to hire an Info Booth Manager for the market. (Find details and how to apply on our website.) Adding a central "info booth" to a market for processing credit/debit/SNAP payments and providing general info to shoppers is often a critical steps for farmers' markets seeking to increase capacity, particularly since it tends to significantly increase credit/debit sales. We're looking forward to working with the market and partners to establish an info booth and Maine Harvest Bucks program at the market this year. Follow developments on the market's Facebook page

Maine Harvest Bucks

Through separate partnerships with the Maine Organic Farmers' and Gardeners' Alliance and with Farm Fresh Rhode Island, we've secured grants that will fund the basic elements of the Maine Harvest Bucks program this summer and for years to come. Most MHB markets are getting their programs under way already, and we're glad to be welcoming a few new sites, including the Damariscotta Farmers' Market and the Auburn Farmers' Market. This year we're also introducing some new tracking tools to make it easier to market's to keep an eye on their budgets and match. Contact SNAP@mffm.org with questions.

MFFM is Now a 501(c)3!

It took over a year to draft the 300+ page application, but the IRS accepted it without comment, and accorded MFFM (c)3 status. MFFM has been a nonprofit since it was founded, and has been formally operating under 501(c)4 status since 2012. Now that the IRS has determined we are tax-exempt, we will not only save money, but will have new fundraising opportunities as well. As many of you know, it is much harder for an existing, long-term organization to achieve tax-exempt status than for a brand-new nonprofit, so we're particularly grateful for the help we received along the way. Maine Farmland Trust acted as MFFM's fiscal agent (for certain grants that required exempt status) for 6 years, which was generous and extremely helpful. We're also particularly grateful to the Conservation Law Foundation, which connected us with attorney Kenleigh Nicoletta of the Lewiston law firm Brann and Isaacson. Kenleigh devoted dozens of hours of her own time to helping us with our IRS paperwork. Thank you to MFT, Kenleigh, and everyone else who contributed to the process!

Farm Fresh Rewards

Farm Fresh Rewards is the new name for nutrition incentives in retail settings. Maine Harvest Bucks is the program that operates at "direct-to-consumer" sites, where farmers sell products directly to shoppers (farmers' markets, CSA farms, and farm stands). MFFM requested that Maine Farmland Trust start using a new name for retail sites beginning April 1st, in order to facilitate implementation and communication about the two different models. Questions? Contact Jimmy via email (SNAP@MFFM.org) or give us a call (487-7114).

Free Summer Meals

The Maine Department of Education operates a free summer meals program for kids 18 and under. Farmers' markets can register as meal pick-up sites. (Markets typically require a local partner to help meet the program requirements.) For more information, check our website, or email adriane.ackroyd@maine.gov.
www.mainefarmersmarkets.org

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Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets · 113 North Lancey St. · Pittsfield, ME 04967 · USA

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